The North Judson Town Board members held a lengthy discussion about safety at their meeting this week.
A picture of a utility employee hanging by his feet off a backhoe sparked the discussion as some thought a safety violation had occurred. WKVI learned that the owner of American Oak had requested the assistance of the North Judson Utility Department to help unclog a sewer line that his contractor could not successfully complete. It was found that a root ball was clogging the line. Due to the compact sewer area and the success of a previous similar issue, an employee of the department volunteered to be strapped to a strap by his feet suspended by a backhoe and he was lowered approximately 16″ into the four-and-a-half foot manhole to retrieve the root ball. There was no sewage in that area at the time and it had been vacuumed and cleared at the time. The employee successfully retrieved the obstruction within a matter of seconds and no injuries were reported.
The Board and the attorney took comments from the public regarding the issue, but it was determined that no safety violation occurred. The Board and attorney will be reviewing guidelines and specific requirements regarding safety for the town employees and officials to follow. They will also review the policy for requests made by residents or businesses for town services.